Ocean law issues keep rising to the surface amid concerns about changing coastlines, unresolved maritime boundaries, biodiversity protection, and commercial uses. In response, the Law of the Sea Institute is doing what it’s done for a half century—providing leading research and promoting international cooperation.
In October, scholars from Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States gathered to wade through ocean law issues— and celebrate the institute’s 50th birthday. Housed at Berkeley Law since 2002, the institute has flourished under longtime director and professor emeritus Harry Scheiber, and former professor David Caron ’83 (co-director from 2002 to 2012). Professor Holly Doremus ’91 and Jordan Diamond ’08, executive director of the school’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, will co-lead the institute starting July 1.
“Ocean law is generally understudied at U.S. law schools despite the urgent global issues involved,” says Scheiber, who co-organized the anniversary conference with the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology. “It matters because of climate change, fisheries as vital food sources, political strategies, security issues—the list goes on.”
Scheiber is proud of the emphasis Berkeley Law places on the subject, and of the institute’s strong international reputation. “This is the perfect place to address the varied topics ocean law presents,” he says. “It’s an interdisciplinary university community that values collaboration, and we’re fortunate in our relationships with colleagues in environmental studies, international relations, and the sciences.”